Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Reproduction of Judaism - Chometz Everywhere - Rabbinic Donkeys And The Sewage Sludge Creation..

A reader writes,

An issue that I believe has not received enough attention is the, it seems sometimes daily, bombardment of news concerning people in positions of rabbinical and halachic authority being shown to be frauds or worse. These types of behavior by the people we are taught in the frum world to emulate causes me and I'm sure many others to be turned off from Judaism. Even if such incidents do not cause us to stop practicing, they leave us all with a bad taste in our mouths. What I find most disturbing is the comparative silence of the powers that be including the Agudah, and the rabbis that are considered to be leaders in our community.

When a politician is exposed as a charlatan or a pervert, his associates will do their utmost to disassociate themselves from the scandal for they do not want to be thought of as condoning illicit behavior. They do not want their names and the values they supposedly represent and fight for tarnished by the inappropriate actions of a fellow politician, especially when it concerns abuse of a position of power, using it to take advantage of others who may be defenseless or in need of legitimate services provided by the dirty politician.

How much more so should the very people who are supposed to be examples for the rest of klal yisroel decry pervasive behavior when it is found among their own. Our religion is one that has been passed down from father to son and from rabbi to student, a mesorah. However, if some of the very people handing over the mesorah, or charged with ensuring the strict compliance of halachic standards (i.e. geirus) are found to be frauds or perverts, abusing their positions of authority for personal pleasure, they should be denounced in public. The message should be clear: that these people are not representative or representatives of our religion.

Furthermore, silence and outright cover-ups, only emboldens the perpetrators, the ones who haven't been caught, to continue with their disgusting, hurtful behavior. When a victim of sexual abuse does not hear the supposed champions of Torah condemning the actions of an abuser, they are left with a feeling of abandonment, desolation. The community they grew up in does not care about the suffering they endured. And what does it say about us as a community when one of the supposed strictest authorities on orthodox conversion is found to have been soliciting potential converts for sexual favors and there is not even a word of protest to be heard, not a peep. If a rabbi is approving converts based on the extent of sexual favors proffered, shouldn’t all conversions overseen by this individual come into question?

Are we prudes? Is it inappropriate for us to discuss these matters in public? Where is the shame? Why are these people not being denounced? Why the silence? I feel let down? It makes me resentful of the people who are supposed to be the shining examples for the rest of us. I'm sure that I'm not alone.


A father's advice to the Holy Father

Q:A senior Vatican priest last week compared outrage at Pope Benedict's handling of sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church to the persecution of the Jews. Church leaders disavowed the comments, but went on to complain about a "vile," anti-Vatican media campaign aimed at weakening the papacy and its authority. Is the news media being fair to the pope? Is the media biased against the Catholic Church or its hierarchy? How would you advise the pope?
I am a father. I have been a new father six times. I have said often --and I am not the least bit proud of my capacity to house this feeling-- that if anyone were to seriously harm one of my children, I could drive hundreds of miles days later, with all the time in the world to have cooled down, and kill the bastard with my own hands. Were this situation to occur, heaven forfend, would I actually behave as I have described? I pray I will never know, but if you value your life you don't want to test me.
I am the same man, the same father, you ask now if the news media is being fair to the pope in the sexual abuse scandal that currently rocks his church. No need to repeat the offenses, we all know them well and they are horrific. I do think the press is bending over backwards to be fair, and in return I ask this question:
Must I be a part of a "vile anti-Vatican campaign aimed at weakening the papacy..." when I answer that way? Until the pope opens up to us --what did the church know, when did the church first learn of it , and how was that information processed?-- I think the world press, on behalf of the world's families, owes it to us to stay circumspectly but diligently on the case. How would I advise the pope? Open up to us, Father.


It can happen in your congregation, too.
The crisis in the Roman Catholic Church is a stark reminder that people we love and admire may turn out to be sex offenders, capable of causing irreparable damage to young lives. Various studies indicate that a not-insignificant minority of adults (perhaps 3 to 20%) may experience some sexual arousal toward children or teenagers. Most do not act on their attractions, but some do -- and they could well be some of the "nicest" people you know.
Despite the media myth that children are abused by strangers, in 90% of child sexual abuse cases, children know their abusers well. They are family members, teachers, scout leaders, athletic coaches, neighbors, babysitters and, as the world now knows, clergy.
Places of worship should be, and usually are, safe havens from the dangers of the world. Still, every congregation must implement policies and practices to reduce the possibility of sexual abuse. These policies can help to protect not just children, but also the adolescents and vulnerable adults in your community.
The following is a checklist of 10 critical steps that can help reduce the potential for abuse in your congregation:

  1. Develop and implement a "Safe Congregation" policy that prescribes a code of ethical behavior and enunciates the congregation's safety procedures. Make sure congregants know about the policy. Provide copies to all employees, volunteers and job applicants. Let it be known that your faith community does everything possible to protect its members from abuse and harassment.
  2. Create a Safe Congregations Committee or a Sexual Misconduct and Abuse Response Team, and provide them with the skills training they need to be effective guardians of the congregation. This committee will be responsible for adopting and enforcing safety policies, communicating with the congregation, and reporting regularly to the congregation's leadership.
  3. Implement annual training for all volunteers in the religious education program so that they can recognize signs of possible sexual abuse and know what actions to take.
  4. Know your state's laws about reporting concerns about child abuse. Make sure the pastor or rabbi, religious education director and board chair understand the procedures to follow. Unless they are mandated reporters (required by state law to report suspected child abuse directly to the authorities), religious educators and volunteers should have a clear policy about how and when to alert the professional ministerial staff about potential abuse.
  5. Adopt a screening form for all employees and volunteers (adults and teenagers) who work with children and youth. The form should ask directly about histories of sexual offenses. The use of a screening form in and of itself may deter someone looking for easy access to children. Rigorous screening procedures demonstrate that your congregation is committed to being a safe place for children.
  6. Implement a policy requiring that two adults be present in every class or program for children and youth, as well as in vehicles transporting young people to activities.
  7. Offer annual adult education programs on sexual abuse prevention for parents and families, as well as for religious education teachers.
  8. Offer regular sexuality education programs for children and adolescents as well, including sex abuse prevention, so they know how to recognize when an adult is acting inappropriately toward them. Every child, from the age of three onward, can learn "No, Go, Tell" - say no to the abuse, leave the situation as soon as possible, and tell a parent or trusted adult if someone tries to touch them or asks them to keep a secret about touching. Tell children that their religious educator, minister or rabbi, or youth leader can help them.
  9. Be sure adults in your congregation (including youth ministers) understand the difference between working with youth and becoming their friends. Healthy adults do not seek friendships with children and teens. An unhealthy relationship initiated by a sex offender may begin as a mentor or friend relationship as the offender "grooms" the child for intimate behaviors.
  10. Create and distribute a referral list of local organizations and therapists who specialize in sexual abuse prevention and treatment. Ask for help when you need it.
Congregations also should have procedures in place for how to respond when someone in the congregation is accused of abuse, or when a person with a history of sexual offenses wants to begin attending the congregation. My book, A Time to Heal: Protecting Children and Ministering to Sex Offenders, is available from Christian Community. An online guide, Balancing Acts: Keeping Children Safe in Congregations, developed for the Unitarian Universalist Association, offers provide a template appropriate for communities of faith in all traditions.
Churches, synagogues, mosques, and other places of worship can play an important role in helping prevent child abuse and equipping parents and children to be safe. Developing and implementing policies can assure that no child or teenager is abused in our sacred spaces.

Follow Rev. Debra Haffner on Twitter:  

Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer
Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer abused an estimated 2,000 boys for decades without sanction


Michael said...

I am disenchanted with the mishandling and covering up of abuse coming to light. Dare I think it would all still be buried were it not for some bold activists who yelled and screamed until cracks in the hierarchy of deception could no longer be ignored.

Catholics face their own demons, but so do the Jews. Scandalous behavior is no stranger to the Jews, and for those downplaying it, well, you're damn fools!

holy drek said...

Ashkenazi protested to the assistant district attorney, “I am a holy person!”

If the DA has a witnesss they should arrest Mr. Holy Ashkenazi.

child molester enabler shlomo mandel said...

Ignoring and denying is what us Jews and Catholics must do.


Boy Scouts of America Accused of Ignoring Sex Abuse by Troop Leaders

In a civil suit filed last month in Portland, Ore., six plaintiffs allege that the Boy Scouts of America allowed convicted child sex-offender Timur Dykes to continue to participate and lead troop activities, including sleepovers at his home with the scouts, despite complaints from parents.

The $29 million lawsuit focuses on a now 37-year-old Portland man, unnamed in the filings, who claims he was abused as a boy by Dykes while the Boy Scouts of America and the Cascade Pacific Council in Oregon, his specific Scout branch, did nothing. Dykes, who admitted the abuse, was convicted, imprisoned and is out on parole until 2013.

Furthering the plaintiffs case against the organization is admission into the trial of more than a 1,000 pages of so-called perversion files, which are confidential documents kept by the Boy Scouts of America regarding people who have been kicked out of scouting for a variety of reasons, including sex the abuse of scouts.

Rabbi Bryan Bramly said...

Services continue despite charges against rabbi

Rabbi Avi Shafran said...

Conservativemeisters are worse than anything.

At least Yudi Kolko is orthodox - which that alone gives him brownie points according to my calculations.

Conservative Rabbi Extradited to New York to Face Rape Charges
Date Published: Friday, April 9th, 2010
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Bryan Bramly, a rabbi at a Conservative congregation in Arizona, has been extradited to New York City to face charges that he raped a 7-year-old girl while he was a student at the Jewish Theological Seminary, according to a report in The Jewish Daily Forward.

Bramly’s arrest comes after years of high-profile scandals in the Orthodox community, where controversy has grown over the community’s reluctance to bring charges of sexual abuse by rabbis to the attention of secular authorities.

Bramly has been a rabbi in Arizona since 2006, at Temple Beth Sholom of the East Valley in Chandler, Ariz., a suburb of Phoenix. It is the only Conservative congregation in the immediate area.

According to The Forward, the alleged rape occurred in 2000, but was only reported last August. The alleged victim, now 17, claims Bramly hit her and then had intercourse with her. She had been friends with Bramly’s own daughter at the time, and her family was close with the Bramly family as well.

At the time the rape is alleged to have occurred, Bramly was a first-year rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He was living with his wife and two children, a daughter and a son, in an apartment leased by the seminary for married students, The Forward said.

The alleged victim and her mother visited Arizona last June – while Bramly was away – and told his wife that the girl had memories of the alleged rape.

Bramly, was arrested by U.S. marshals and New York detectives in Arizona on March 23. He was charged with two counts of rape in an incident that allegedly occurred a decade ago. He pleaded not guilty and was released on $10,000 bail on March 26.

abused at yob said...

Shlomo Mandel is a rasha gamur. He still employs Nussbaum despite promising he would be fired. The NYPD should arrest him for harboring a child molester, and for his torrid abuse of children himself.

Rabbi Aharon Feldman said...

See, what have I been telling you guys all along? There is no sin greater than desecrating Shabbos. That is why molesters like Rabbi Moshe Eisenmann are nothing compared to say, like umm.. some abused kid who constantly cries for being violated and as a result no longer acts like a frum yid should act.

Observing Sabbath Saved Life of Poland’s Chief Rabbi

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

A Jewish delegation from Poland, including the American-born Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich, was spared from certain death by refusing to violate the Sabbath to fly with President Lech Kaczynski.

The president, his wife, his military chief of staff and senior political leaders were killed on Saturday when the plane crashed en route to a Russian city.

The Jewish delegation was supposed to fly with the president, according to Warsaw Rabbi Meir Stembler. “The delegation canceled its participation after it was understood that that plane was to fly on the Sabbath,” he said.

“They planned to say Kaddish [the mourner’s prayer] at the planned commemoration ceremony in a Russian city, marking 70 years since the Soviet murder of 20,000 Poles.

Rabbi Stembler said that President Kaczynski was personally responsible for helping with the construction of a Jewish museum in the location of the former Jewish ghetto in Warsaw and which is to be dedicated in the near future. President Kaczynski helped promote and encourage the building project when he was mayor of Warsaw and continued his efforts as president.

“The relation between the Jewish community and the president was very strong,” the rabbi said. “He took care of all of its needs, not just in words but also in deeds. There were not any major events where he did not honor the community with his presence.”

The crash on Saturday wiped out a large part of the elite establishment of the government, and it is not clear why the government took the risk of allowing all of them to fly on one plane. The pilot, who also died in the crash, was blamed for ignoring Russian air controllers’ advice not to try to land under severe weather conditions. (

Rabbi gets maximum sentence in molestation case said...

Rabbi gets maximum sentence in molestation case

April 13, 2010

(JTA) -- A Brooklyn rabbi was given the maximum prison sentence for sexually assaulting a male teenager.

Rabbi Baruch Lebovits was sentenced to 10 years and eight months to 32 years in prison on Monday by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Patricia DiMango, the New York Daily News reported. He received consecutive sentences on eight counts of sexual abuse.

Lebovits, the father of seven and grandfather of 24, declined to address the court before the sentence was pronounced. The rabbi, who owns a travel agency in Borough Park, was convicted early last month of sexually molesting the Jewish teen in 2004 and 2005. The victim, now 22, testified in court that the rabbi assaulted him in his car several times over a 10-month period, luring him into the vehicle with promises that he could drive, the Daily News reported.

The rabbi told authorities that he had been a victim of sexual abuse as a youngster, according to Lebovits' probation report, which was read in court, the Daily News reported.

Lebovits is awaiting trial on charges of molesting two other minors.

Justice Served said...

A Brooklyn rabbi convicted of molesting a teenage boy was sentenced to the Monday to the maximum - 10-2/3 to 32 years in prison.

Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Patricia DiMango gave Rabbi Baruch Lebovits consecutive sentences for eight sexual abuse counts.

"It is important for the courts to send a clear message that abusing and harming children will not be tolerated," she told a courtroom packed with Lebovits' supporters and victim advocates.

Asked whether he wanted to address the court, Lebovits said: "No thanks."

His lawyer called Lobovits a "saint" and asked the judge to set aside the verdict, claiming the allegations were just a shakedown for cash.

The lawyer, Arthur Aidala, he charged that the teen's family didn't press charges until the rabbi's son, in Israel, got rich.

"They came forward when his son Chaim hit the lottery and became a multimillionaire," Aidala said.

A jury found Lebovits guilty of abusing the 16-year-old friend of a son, luring him into a car and performing sex acts on him.
The victim, who is now 22, said he was relieved at the outcome of the case.

"My experience here has given me hope and optimism I thought was lost forever," he said in court.

"Every day Baruch Lebovits is in prison is a day that kids in our community are safe from him."

The victim's grandmother was pleased with the sentence but said her grandson, who turned to drugs and burglary after he was molested, will never be the same.

"He was so sweet, such a sweet boy, she said. "How do you give back a child his life, his innocence?"

Several advocates said the harsh sentence will send a message to the Orthodox Jewish community where, they say, frank discussion of sexual abuse is rare.

"It's not going to change overnight," said Beth Kaplan, director of Sacred Lives. "The sense of denial in this community is starting to stop.

"The Jewish community at large needs to hear the message, accept the message and understand the message: this happens all the time and it needs to stop happening."

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It is unfortunate that it has come to this. It is a big darn shame it has come to this. It is very hurtful that it has come to this. But yet, IT HAS COME TO THIS. It has come at the price of a GREAT CHILUL HASHEM. It has come to Hashem having to allow his holy name to be DESECRATED so that his CHILDREN remain SAFE. Shame on all those responsible for enabling and permitting Hashem's name to be desecrated! When you save children you save the future. You save the future you save generations. You save generations you save lives. You save lives you have saved the world!!!!!!!